18th Mar 2017
After 3.5 fantastic weeks in Vietnam, it was time to move on to my next country. Before I did, Vietnam deserved a little reflection. The incredible people of this country have come through so much hardship in what is still relatively recent years, and yet they are consistently welcoming, show no bitterness, and they go out of their way to be helpful. The country is hugely diverse, from the tribal lands of the North, to the spectacular limestone karsts and caves, the beautiful clear blue coastal waters, and the picturesque southern highlands. Add a jungle or two for good measure, and this country has something for everyone, plus a good transport system and excellent food!
I packed up my bags and started my journey to the airport. First stop was a xe om, to whizz through the traffic to the bus station which was 3 kilometres away. I don’t mind walking, but it’s hot here and I had a day of travel ahead of me so decided against the hot sweaty approach. At the bus station it was very easy to find the airport bus, which took about half an hour to get me to the international terminal. Very easy and the whole journey set me back less than $1.50. Bargain!
I got checked in, headed through security and whiled away my time until the flight was called. The airport at Ho Chi Minh City is actually pretty good, with enough small shops to wander to help pass the time. The flight was only an hour and a half, and I found myself sat next to a Sri Lankan guy who was very chatty and by the end of the flight asked me to marry him! I think his expectation of white women is a little out of sync with reality!
Arriving in Kuala Lumpur, I sorted out some local currency and a sim card, and then phoned Priscilla who was a passenger on one of my trips nearly four years ago, and who I am staying with and travelling with for the next couple of week. I took the train to Central Kuala Lumpur where Priscilla was waiting to pick me up. It was raining really hard, but even so I was able to get my first views of the Malaysian palm oil trees on the ride in to the city. I found Pris right on time and we headed to her apartment. It was great to see Pris again, and I can’t describe how nice it is to be in a home rather than a dorm or a hotel room for once! Throw in two cats for company and it felt like a real home. We stopped for some rotis on our way to her apartment, and then spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and catching up, finally crawling to bed at 2.30am!
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